Bible Verse: Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! (Philippians 3:1)
Scripture Reading: Acts 16:16-34
This week, we are looking at gratitude through the acronym T.H.A.N.K.S.
The rain echoed off the stone walls of the prison. Two men were chained to the wall inside one of the dank cells. They were beaten and bruised. They had been telling others about the love and grace of Jesus Christ, and the crowds were displeased with them, as were the authorities.
There were many reasons for these two guys to complain. They had been doing what they were told. They had been spreading the Good News. They weren’t hurting anyone. And yet here they were, insulted, incapacitated, and incarcerated.
But these were men who knew about obedience. They knew that the Scriptures were full of commands to give thanks to the Lord, and they were intent on obeying those commands.
So, despite their discomfort, pain, and humiliation, they lifted their voices in song and praised the God of Heaven.
And He heard their songs! There was a great earthquake, and not only did their chains fall off, but the prison doors also flew open. They were free. Their obedience had been rewarded.
The Bible does not tell us to give thanks only when everything is going well; it says to give thanks in every circumstance (1Thessalonians 5:16-18).
We are to give thanks when we are treated poorly by those around us.
We are to give thanks when our health takes a turn for the worse.
We are to give thanks when our work doesn’t go as we want it to.
We are to be men who always give thanks. We are commanded to do this.
We might not even think about it if we weren’t instructed to do it. And then we would not experience all the health that a thankful life brings.
So, let’s be obedient and give God the thanks He deserves in every situation.
Prayer: Lord, You know better than anyone how difficult this life is. You know about pain and frustration and hunger and disappointment. You know about rejection and suffering and abandonment and abuse. You know about it in our lives, but even more astoundingly, You experienced it personally. And still, You tell us to be thankful in every situation. Give us the strength to be obedient to You and to be thankful at all times. Amen.
Reflection: Did you know that thanksgiving is not just a suggestion for us? The Scriptures command us to give thanks. How can you be more purposeful in your obedience to that command?
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